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Artificial Lift Techbook 2018

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ARTIFICIAL LIFT: OVERVIEW EPmag.com | July 2018 | 3 pecking order for new wells in the Permian but remain popular in other basins. Drive for innovation Operators are favoring automation and remote monitoring systems in an effort to improve effi- ciency. Operators are clamoring for technologies that can widen the operating envelop for artificial lift, Mahoney said. "There's been a renewed emphasis on developing technology that helps the operator with the wider operating range in downhole conditions. That's get- ting more and more prominent," he noted. Conditions include declining production rates as well as handling large amounts of gas, solids and sand. The biggest push is around automation and analyt- ics with the goal of monitoring wells, analyzing data to extend equipment life, predicting failure patterns and fieldwide production management, he added. "We're trying to marry our installation base, our application knowledge and collaboration with cus- tomers to bring digital automation capability to the market that drives outcomes and better decision-mak- ing for the operator," Mahoney said. "We're working on new product development to extend the ranges and handle adverse downhole conditions." Apergy's efforts target a combination of extending existing technologies and developing completely new industry technologies. "We have some things in the early ideation stage with preliminary engineering work going on," Mahoney added. "There's no silver bullet, but a com- pany like ours is working on four or five major new things to support the industry." According to Kostadinov, oilfield services compa- nies have gradually raised the overall quality of their artificial lift offerings, incrementally improving gas handling and lifting liquids from deeper laterals. The overall resistance of pumps and related equipment also has improved. The modularization of artificial lift, especially ESPs, has resulted in less rig time and lower installation costs, with equipment coming in fewer parts and also preloaded with consumables like oil, he added. One of the existing challenges in artificial lift is access to people and parts, which is crucial for sup- porting customers. Education also can be helpful, Mahoney said. The company's Artificial Lift Academy offers more than 50 courses to help train industry personnel on artificial lift technologies, engineering tools and digital technologies. "Some operators know the guidebook or playbook they want to exercise for artificial lift and … a good percentage of customers don't know what their play- book is and they're looking to companies like ours to be able to provide that guidebook for them [and] what makes sense over the life of the well," Mahoney said. While the market for artificial lift equipment has been a difficult one in the most recent downturn, Mahoney is optimistic about the sector's future. "Ar tif icial lift will always be needed," Mahoney said. n Beam pumps, like these located alongside the salt flats just outside of Carlsbad, N.M., on the road to Jal, are a popular form of artificial lift in many basins. (Photo by Jennifer Presley) ARTIFICIAL LIFT: OVERVIEW

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